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AEP Carbon Sequestration Plant to Be Unveiled

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Source: WVPubcast
The Mountaineer coal-fired power plant in New Haven is getting international attention because Friday morning, AEP officials are scheduled to unveil the plant’s carbon capture and sequestration technology.
The plant is the first of its kind to both capture CO2 emissions and sequester them underground, says AEP spokesman Pat Hemlepp.
"What we are doing is capturing it, and then compressing it and injecting it. There are other sites that have done injection, but not with CO2 that they have captured," she said. "They have purchased it from other sites."
AEP is partnering with the French company Alstom and other industry leaders for the carbon capture and sequestration project.
Hemlepp says a there is a lot of global interest in the technology, which could help the coal industry meet new standards for greenhouse gas emissions.
There’s some concern about whether the carbon will remain trapped underground. Hemlepp says new technology is also being used for monitoring wells near the plant. 
"It’s not computer models but actual live monitoring where we have monitoring wells where we can track how the plume is dispersing once it reaches a mile and a half beneath the surface," he said.
The Mountaineer plant emits about 8.7 million tons of CO2 a year. The project will capture more than 100,000 tons of CO2 a year, or about 1.5 percent of the plant's total.
AEP hopes to expand the project. The company has applied for more than $300 million in federal stimulus funds to install a commercial-scale carbon dioxide capture and storage system at the plant.
Gov. Joe Manchin, Senator Jay Rockefeller and other state leaders are also expected to attend Friday’s media event.
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